HWI Response to USW South Shore Walk Out
Moon Township, PA – October 10, 2016 – For the past nine months, HarbisonWalker International (Company) has negotiated in good faith with the United Steelworkers Union (USW) to reach a new collective bargaining agreement at the South Shore, Kentucky manufacturing facility. The Company has presented the USW with fair proposals that better secure the future of the facility and its workforce. To our disappointment, the USW has rejected the Company’s recent contract proposal and today called its members out on strike.
Since the collective bargaining agreement expired on April 17, 2016, we have been and still are willing to continue operating under the terms and conditions of the expired collective bargaining agreement while bargaining in good faith towards a new contract. Our objective throughout the bargaining process has been to secure a fair contract that ensures a bright future for our employees and meets the needs of our customers. Our last contract offer would achieve these twin objectives by providing market competitive wages with lump sum bonuses and maintaining a high level of healthcare benefits for our employees and their families through limited changes to our insurance plans.
We remain committed to reaching a new contract with the USW. Ultimately however, the Company must meet its customers’ product needs so that it can continue offering good jobs and competitive compensation to all employees. We have implemented a contingency plan, in full compliance with all labor laws, in order to fulfill current orders during the USW’s work stoppage, and we will do so at the same level of excellence that all our customers have come to expect.
About HarbisonWalker International
With more than 150 years of industry leadership, HarbisonWalker International (HWI) is the largest supplier of refractory products and services in the United States. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the company’s international network spans North America, Europe, and Asia, with 19 manufacturing plants, 30 global sourcing centers, and technology facilities in both the United States and China. Serving virtually every major industry that requires refractory solutions to enhance production and protect assets, HWI is consistently recognized for its talented experts, industry firsts, and intensely driven excellence.